I don’t know when exactly it was, but one day I discovered that soap operas, movie sequels, and just about anything else that is “continued next week” were things I needed to avoid. I get nervous and worried. I dwell on what might happen. And when you rearrange your life in order not to miss what J.R. is going to do next in “Dallas,” I believe it’s a sign you are out-of-focus and losing your grip on reality.
I don’t like drawn-out messes. I say let’s deal with the problem and move on. So imagine how I felt the other day when I was drawn into a story that CNN has aired on a woman named Crystal Kennedy. A single parent, Crystal made the decision to earn a desperately-needed $22,000 by being a surrogate mother.
Soon she was paired with this nice, attractive couple from Connecticutt who already had three children but wanted a fourth. So the medical workers did one of these amazing in-vitro fertilizations using frozen embryos and soon Crystal was “with child.” As you might suspect, it is much more than a nine-month job.
Oh, the couple was lovely, sending Christmas presents, early payments for Crystal’s rent and even called the surrogate mom to see how she was doing with morning sickness. But around the fifth month of the pregnancy the medical wizards had a hard time finding a heartbeat and insisted on more detailed diagnostics.
Then it was learned the baby had a hole in its heart, a cyst on its brain, and they couldn’t locate a stomach or a spleen. The baby also had a cleft palate and other problems. You can imagine the donors and the surrogate both went crazy. The donors wanted to abort but Crystal refused -- obviously drawn to the child within her.
The donors told Crystal “they didn’t want to bring a baby into the world only for that child to suffer. They said I should try to be God-like and have mercy on the child and let her go.” But the surrogate mom balked. “I told them they had chosen me to carry and protect this child and that was ecxactly what I was going to do … it wasn’t their decision to play God.”
At first the couple offered the surrogate $10,000 to terminate the deal but Crystal, countering $15,000 initially, had always been against abortion and, almost immediately, wished she never countered. When she said “absolutely no,” the parents of the unborn child lawyered up.
Douglas Fishman of West Hartford then wrote Crystal a letter, saying he had been retained and that “you are obligated to terminate this pregnancy immediately. You have squandered precious time.”
By “obligated” Fishman pointed to a contract Crystal had signed that she would agree to an abortion “in care of severe fetus abnormality” and Crystal told him that the contract did not define what a “severe” abnormality” was.
Further, she found a lawyer who said she wasn’t legally bound to have an abortion so, in turn, “the nice couple” in Connecticut said it would seize the baby at birth and place it into the state’s foster-care program. That put Crystal in a tizzy – (Is this making you dizzy!) – and her lawyer found a loophole. If Crystal had the baby in Michigan, Connecticut’s state laws wouldn’t apply.
All the while the surrogate mother is getting bigger and it dawns on her she has neither the funds nor the ability to care for the child. So Crystal sets forth and finds a couple to adopt the baby at the proper time. But, lo and behold, the “nice couple” has already filed with the Connecticut Superior Court to have their names on the birth certificate.
But – whoops! – it was then learned that the mother’s eggs were not used in the in-vitro process that got Crystal pregnant. No, they actually came from an anonymous woman. You talk about a mess – Hollywood script writers can’t make this stuff up.
Nonetheless, the baby was born in late June and the Connecticut people allowed the girl to be adopted as long as they were permitted to visit. The baby’s health problems were worse than first expected but the adoptive parents are perfect and adore the child, knowing the baby may not survive.
While I am not taking a side in the fight, I am all for the baby, but by the time I had finished the story about Crystal Kelley being a surrogate mother I was worn out and had to sleep. I felt like I’d watched “Dallas” for so long I knew who shot J.R. so as we push our clocks ahead tonight, realize you are just that much closer to finding out – about J.R., I mean.
This Monday night, at 9 p.m. on the TNT Channel we will finally know. Last week’s show ended like this: Near the end of the show, J.R. was seen at an undisclosed location on the phone with John Ross. "Don't you worry, son, I've got a plan," J.R. said. "It's gonna be my masterpiece. Because you shouldn't have to pay for my sins."
"What do you mean?" asked John Ross, struck by J.R.'s rare show of tenderness.
"Just remember, I'm proud of you," said J.R., as John Ross' eyes moistened. "You're my son, from tip to tail."
But at that moment, all John could hear were gunshots. "Dad! Dad!" he yelled to the phone.
So who shot J.R.? Who cares? All I know is that it is worse than having a baby.